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Showing posts from May, 2011

Practicing contentment in not knowing......

My zia sometimes tells the story of how when I was little I would make everyone crazy because I was always asking why.  I guess I'm still making people crazy because I'm still asking why.   I even make myself crazy because I'm always asking myself why I make the choices that I do, why can't I just accept things without question? etc...  It's these questions that keep me seeking answers. 

Once in a yoga class the teacher had us doing some complicated mudra (A gesture or position, usually of the hands, that locks and guides energy flow and reflexes to the brain).  I asked the teacher why we were doing this mudra.  What was the purpose?  What was the desired effect?  - her answer was "I don't really know.  It's one that my teacher uses."  I respect the fact that she was honest and didn't try to give me some stupid yoga babble but I still wanted to know.   All I could do at that point was to turn my awareness inward and witness the effect the mud…

To accept or to change.... That is the question

Wow! Where do I begin? I suppose I should start by saying that I KNOW I'm not the fairness police!  There - I said it, I know it, now please indulge me a while as I rant!!  I apologize in advance if what I am about to say offends anyone.   This is one of the hazards of reading my random thoughts......

Sometimes yoga brings up alot of crap for me.  You know, all those emotions and feelings that you don't allow yourself to feel?  (maybe that's just me - God I hope that's not just me).  Sometimes it's something going on in my life or in my head, sometimes it's something the teachers says.  The problem is that after class I'm left to process this crap on my own.  I almost feel like we should have a "support group" of some sort after class to help us work through the issues that the practice brings up  but that's a whole other rant.....

Tonight's bhavana was acceptance.  Believe me, I know I have stuff I need to accept.  I know that I hold on…

Finding Enlightenment in the shower.......

This morning in the shower I was thinking about a quote I read once that was supposedly by the Buddha.
"Before Enlightenment chopped wood, carried water.  After Enlightenment chopped wood, carried water."  If this is true it begs the questions  "Why the hell are we striving for Enlightenment then?!".   It also makes me wonder what exactly enlightenment means anyway.  If I'll still be chopping wood and carrying water what will be different after enlightenment?  I'm glad the world didn't end yesterday.  This gives me more time to try to figure out what it means to be enlightened.   

Of course since I haven't had the opportunity to sit down with Buddha and ask him what exactly he meant by that quote and since he'd probably ignore my question anyway I'll share my own thoughts about what I think he may have meant by "Before Enlightenment chopped wood, carried water, after
Enlightenment chopped wood, carried water". 

*The first thing t…

Wanted: Inspiration

As I rolled out my mat this morning I was feeling less than motivated. I really wanted to crawl back into bed. I resisted the urge but I walk away from my mat. "I need to let the dog out" I tell myself. (as the dog is snoring away on the sofa) Pumpkin comes back into the house, jumps onto the sofa and goes right to sleep. I give a silent prayer to God to make me a dog in my next life.

No more stalling.... I light a candle and step on the mat. I need to clear the mental fog before I attempt meditation so I start with a sun salutation in the hope that I can begin to stoke the inner fire. My body was just not having it. Half way through the first sun salutation I find myself in child's pose where I stay for a long time. Where's my will today? Has it taken a sick day? Maybe that's what I need, a sick day.

I try again but this time with some slow, gentle movements on the floor. My head is telling me that I need to push myself because I need to shake out of this fog …

Devoted spiritual seeker or Yoga-holic?

Have you ever heard the Sama Vedas? They are ancient mantras chanted in a very specific way. Apparently there are different chants that are chanted at different times of the day/season and each with a different effect.

I first heard the Sama Veda when my teacher would play them after a session of yoga, pranayama and meditation. There wasn't any "music" just the chanting. I wasn't sure if it was the whole process of the sadhana or the chants or maybe even the combination but the effect was pure bliss.

During my 500 hour advance yoga teacher training course we spent a lot of time talking about the energetic effects of different mantras and even the different energetic effects of the way we practice asanas and pranayama. I can tell you there is no better way than through direct experience to understand the energetic effects of a practice.

Yesterday I was at a kirtan (devotional chanting). The kirtan artist was someone I had never heard before. What I liked most was t…